Thursday’s stock market was one big sad emoji for Mark Zuckerberg and other shareholders of Facebook parent Meta as the company’s stock price went into a record-breaking plunge that reduced Zuckerberg’s personal wealth by nearly $30 billion in a single day.
The $29.8 billion Zuckerberg lost represented the second-biggest single-day loss in history, CNBC reported. The record holder is still Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who saw his personal wealth tumble by $35 billion in November after tweeting that he might sell 10% of his Tesla stake. Musk lost $25.8 billion from his net worth last week, according to Bloomberg.
Meta’s share price tanked 26% to close at $237.76 on Thursday following a disappointing fourth-quarter earnings report — the stock’s lowest point since last summer and the company’s biggest single-day decline ever. The plunge reduced Meta’s market cap by roughly $200 billion, which is also a record.
Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and Meta’s CEO, owns almost 13% of the company, which recently rebranded as Meta Platforms.
There hasn’t been a ton of cheery news for either Meta or its investors lately. The company’s Q4 earnings came in below estimates. Even more alarming: Facebook lost daily users for the first time in its 18-year history during the quarter. Users fell by half a million to 1.93 billion logging on daily, The Washington Post reported. Losses were highest in Africa, Latin America and India — a sign that the social media giant might have already reached its peak globally.
Many investors are bailing on the stock because some of Meta’s recent launches have either misfired or performed below expectations. One of those is virtual- and augmented-reality hardware, a suite Meta calls the “metaverse.” The company spent more than $10 billion to build its hardware division, called Facebook Reality Labs. But as the WaPo noted, so far it’s losing money.
Meta shares have also suffered under the weight of slower growth, a reduced revenue forecast for the coming months, and its inability to generate advertising revenue from Instagram Reels, Meta’s answer to TikTok. Another problem has been changes to Apple’s operating system that prevent ad-tracking, which hurts Facebook and similar sites.
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